Those of you who saw me on Wednesday night saw a nearly broken man. I had sold only about 150 tickets (these things are usually sold out by the Wednesday before), and, having expected to sell numerous tickets at the Black Sheep that night, I sold one. There was no hope of getting help from the TV or the papers. There was no money in the budget for advertising. The Inquirer, after making overtures of doing a story on it, backed off. The Weekly and the City Paper decided not to cover it for the first time ever. After three straight classics, it looked like Quizzo Bowl IV was gonna be a dud. And it would be a failure in front of the Burnin’ Loves, a band made up of guys I had grown up with. But, in a show of what an incredible community we have, things started to turn around, Blues Brothers style. Trivia Art posted a contest on Foobooz, D-Mac did the same on PhiladelphiaWillDo. Dark Horse John sent a message to his listserve. Jam Master Sean told the RPS crowd. Chip posted bulletins on Myspace, as did Steve O., Smackdown, and the Lovely Ginger. Gabe and Andy at the Temple Law School posted flyers all over the facility, while I posted them on bulletin boards, walls and bathroom doors at Temple and Penn. Despite being ignored by the press, the buzz started to spread, and by the time doors opened at the Blue Horizon at 7 p.m., a sea of people poured through. In the end, it worked out incredibly. I had set up 38 tables of 8 eight each, and in the end every seat was filled, for a total of 304 people, our 4th consecutive Quizzo Bowl sellout.
As for the event itself, it was legendary. The Burning Loves opened sans Black Elvis, and got the crowd warmed up with a few classics, such as “Hard to Handle” and “Me and Bobby McGee”. JGT broke his promise of not rapping, and opened with “Mama Said Knock You Out”. Then we began a rather difficult easy round. Of the 38 teams, only one, Dork Sided, got all 12 questions correct. The much maligned defending champs, the Sofa Kingdom, aced Round Two, and took the lead after the first two rounds. It was then time for the halftime show, featuring Chip Chantry and the Legendary WID. Chip’s set went pretty well, despite the fact that the audio was a little off in the old building. Then came the WID. I wish he had performed on stage instead of in front, because I think some people in the back couldn’t really see what was going on.
Long story short, he got sha-na-nad off the stage, despite pulling out two stuffed lions, and saying “Hey, I’ve got my pride,” then dry humping one of the lions and saying, “What do you think I’m F****** Lion?” (How is that not hilarious? I just don’t get you people.) There are already talks of a “WID’s Revenge” show, so stay tuned.
On to Round Three, the wild card round. After starting off slowly, two time champions the Champs (aka Rob’s Zombies) were one of only two teams to pull off a perfect round, and moved within a question of the lead heading into the final round. The other team to have a perfect round three, Lambda Lambda Lambda had a narrow lead, with 71 points. MAGMA was close behind with 69, and Blowback Chicken Army (featuring Triva Art, D-Mac, Smackdown, and a few Western Omelette’s) were in 3rd with 68. The Kingdom and the Zombies both had 67. Dork Sided, looking for the upset, was still within a question of the lead, with 66.
Meanwhile, between rounds, Black Elvis had completely caught fire. His booming voice and the bands rollicking play had the place rocking. Suspicious Minds was amazing, Hound Dog was downright nasty, and they ended the night by getting away from the Elvis with a little Chuck Berry “Johnny B. Good”. By the end of the night, the nerd elite were dancing in the aisles. Unreal.
But back to the action. Round Four, which kicked off with Eye of the Tiger playing in the background, was a doozy. When the dust settled, the Resevous Dogs aka The Jams, with an impressive final round, had moved to 5th place. MAGMA finished in 4th. Rob’s Zombies, despite losing their effervescent leader during the previous year (I missed him eating other peoples food while taking his table at this year’s Quizzo Bowl. And great team name. I am quite certain that would approve.), finished an impressive third. So it came down to two teams. The defending champs the Sofa Kingdom and Steve O.’s team, Lambda Lambda Lambda. The crowd began banging on the tables as I prepared to read off the winners, followed by an actual drum roll. Ladies and gentlemen, “Your 2008 Quizzo Bowl Champions…Lambda Lambda Lambda!”
The crowd went wild, the Kingdom hung their heads, and the Lambdas began jumping up and down as if they had just made the Final Four. The Kingdom hung their heads as if their three pointer at the buzzer had grazed the iron. Unlike the Final Four, there were no TV news crews there to record the moment, no write-ups about it in the Sunday paper. But there is no denying that the Kingdom was overthrown. The Revolution was not televised, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t a hell of a lot of fun.